, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 286-290
Date: 24 Jun 2008

Standard Values of Maximum Tongue Pressure Taken Using Newly Developed Disposable Tongue Pressure Measurement Device

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Abstract

It is clinically important to evaluate tongue function in terms of rehabilitation of swallowing and eating ability. We have developed a disposable tongue pressure measurement device designed for clinical use. In this study we used this device to determine standard values of maximum tongue pressure in adult Japanese. Eight hundred fifty-three subjects (408 male, 445 female; 20–79 years) were selected for this study. All participants had no history of dysphagia and maintained occlusal contact in the premolar and molar regions with their own teeth. A balloon-type disposable oral probe was used to measure tongue pressure by asking subjects to compress it onto the palate for 7 s with maximum voluntary effort. Values were recorded three times for each subject, and the mean values were defined as maximum tongue pressure. Although maximum tongue pressure was higher for males than for females in the 20-49-year age groups, there was no significant difference between males and females in the 50-79-year age groups. The maximum tongue pressure of the seventies age group was significantly lower than that of the twenties to fifties age groups. It may be concluded that maximum tongue pressures were reduced with primary aging. Males may become weaker with age at a faster rate than females; however, further decreases in strength were in parallel for male and female subjects.